NDAA 2025: Guard Transfers, CASR, and Commercial Ops

Image: Architect of the Capitol

The House’s draft of the fiscal 2025 National Defense Authorization Act would move forward with a hotly-contested plan to transfer space-focused Air National Guard members to the Space Force. 

The House Armed Services Committee will consider the draft bill, which was released on Monday, on May 22.

Chairman’s mark: The draft bill would transfer up to 580 Air National Guard troops working on space missions into the Space Force. The bill would have the most impact on states where Guard troops are conducting space operations today, including Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, New York, and Ohio. 

However, all 50 state governors, plus officials from three territories, have pushed back against this effort, arguing that it would erode state control of the National Guard. A survey of troops found that 70% would rather train for a different job in the Guard or retire than transfer to the Space Force, Stars and Stripes reported.

Given all this pushback, we expect a robust debate during next week’s markup, led by lawmakers from states with space interests. 

Strat forces: The portion of the draft compiled by the strategic forces subcommittee also includes several space provisions, including:

  • The establishment of the Commercial Augmentation Space Reserve to allow DoD to call on commercial reinforcements in space during conflict
  • An annual briefing from the Space Force chief on how the service is using commercial tech and sticking to goals set by the Commercial Space Strategy

And the rest: Other space initiatives in the chairman’s mark include:

  • Requiring DoD to use the National Security Space Launch program to procure national security launches until Sept. 30, 2029
  • Elevating oversight of the Space Contractor Responsibility Watch List—a list of poorly-performing government contractors who must meet additional requirements to work with the government—to the assistant Air Force secretary for space acquisition and integration
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